Saturday, October 26, 2013

Week 16 and what's next!

I'm sharing with you my email to Coach Chris.  I didn't really write anything extra today, but there's some good stuff at the end... you'll want to know what I'm up to next :-)
I had a great recovery week.  I did not get up early to do my weekday runs.
On Tuesday I had my daughter and we did 10 seconds running and 50 seconds walking.  This worked as good as could be asked for a run with a two year old :-).  I'm starting her young!
I ran Thursday for about 40 minutes at 9:54  per mile.  It felt great to run 4 miles with no pain from the race on Sunday.  I used 4:1 ratio.  Here's the info:  http://connect.garmin.com/activity/395540677
Today I ran 5 miles using the 2:30/1 ratio.  I kept in mind what you said about this being a recovery run.  I was able to keep it to an 11 min/mile overall pace.  It felt really great considering I raced less than a week ago.  Here's the data for this! http://connect.garmin.com/activity/395540662
I love run/walk/run.  As I said in a previous post/podcast I have been converted to the "dark side."  I'm also trying to show how others can join me as well.  They are having trouble wrapping their brain around how they can run faster by using strategic walk breaks.

Just a few reasons I love run/walk/run:
1.  I was able to run two runs the week after the race and I felt great during and after.
2.  The day of the half-marathon I was able to live my life normally.  I did NOT have the issues that I had in previous half marathons.
3.  I used walk breaks and I got a 3 minute and 31 second PR.  This one speaks for itself!
4.  I got to have awesome coaching from Chris Twiggs, and have been able to participate in the Galloway Extra Mile podcast-Half Marathon edition as a contributor.
5.  I now have a tool that will help me run until I'm 100.
6.  I am planning to bridge my training so that I can train for the 26.2 with Donna in Jacksonville Florida.  I will start up the marathon training soon.  :-).
#runhappy
#rundonna

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Race report: Hershey Half Marathon: 10/20/13

I'm happy to report that I now have a new PR at the Hershey Half Marathon.  Officially my time is 2:15:09 which is a PR by 3 minutes and 31 seconds.  Not bad considering I used Jeff Galloway's Run/Walk/Run method :-).

Last time I ran this race was in 2011 and my time was 3:21:23... so this year's time cuts over an hour off my time.  Now that's awesome!  I will say that in 2011 my wife just had our baby girl and so I wasn't ready for the race, but I still cut over an hour off my course time.

Here's the update:
My new PR is 2:15:09 at the Hershey Half Marathon.  I did not get under 2 hours as predicted, but I did cut over 3 minutes of my previous best.  On a hilly course I will definitely take it.

The weather started out a little chilly, but otherwise the day was perfect.  I kept myself warm for the start and then ditched my outer layer.  I lined up with the 9 minute mile pace group, but I did not have a chance to talk with those around me to see if 9 minutes/mile was realistic or if they just lined up there.  I held myself back at the beginning because I wanted to make sure I had enough in me to conquer the hills.  I watched the video of the course and it did not seem nearly as hilly as it was in reality.  I felt pretty good for the first half of the race.  I was using 4/1 ratio and sticking to the plan.  I did not allow the hills to frustrate me and they really weren't all that bad at the beginning.  My biggest miscalculation was that I thought that after I made it to the 10K mark that it would be fairly flat.  It wasn't.

Here are my splits.

Mile 1: 9:24
Mile 2: 9:12
Mile 3: 9:28
Mile 4: 9:43
Mile 5: 9:29
Mile 6: 9:58
Mile 7: 10:16
Mile 8: 10:24
Mile 9: 10:47
Mile 10: 11:04
Mile 11: 12:01
Mile 12: 11:12
Mile 13: 10:45

More data about my race than you'd ever want to know: http://connect.garmin.com/activity/393375059

I'm pleased with the first 5/6 miles, but I'm not sure what happened during the last 6/7 miles.  I think my legs were tired because of the hills.  At some point near the 10K mark I realized that it was not likely that I would finish in less than 2 hours as I was struggling a little bit.  On my slowest mile (11) I switched my ratio to :30/:30 so that I could get a better grip of where I stood with getting a new PR.  I knew that I had to finish in a time faster than 2:18:40 seconds because I needed a PR today (using walk breaks).  I knew that I had to kick things into gear.  When I saw the Hershey Park Stadium I went for it.   According to my Garmin it was an 8:12 during the last .18 miles.  I past several people on the way to the finish line and had my hands up at the end.  I believe I #ranhappy and had a smile on my face for most of the race.

Things I learned running the Hershey Half Marathon:
1.  The most important thing is to do my best on that given day.  Specific goals may not happen, but it does not mean that I wasn't successful.
2.  It helps to have a running buddy.  I didn't have this and I felt the difference.
3.  Run/walk/run is my preferred method of running.  I was able to get a PR on a challenging course while using walk breaks.
4.  I love running and run/walk/run makes it even better.  I was able to enjoy my afternoon with my wife.  We had a date Sunday afternoon.  I was able to walk and go about my business as though I didn't just race 13.1 miles.  Good stuff!
5.  I look forward to my next race and giving it my all.  I'm going to take things fairly easy and just enjoy running for what it is and use conservative walk breaks.
6.  I love and appreciate my TNT friends and those who were out on the course to cheer us on to the finish.  It was awesome to see so many faces and also for those perfect strangers who yelled my name in encouragement.  It's the best.
7.  I love run/walk/run and I'm thankful for my e-coach Chris Twiggs who helped me get to the finish line with a smile on my face, upright, and ready to do it again.
8.  I appreciate how much sacrifice my wife and daughter have made for me to do things like this.  She got up at about 5am this morning to help me get to the race early enough so that we could be relaxed.

So what's next?  Well I have a 5 miler in November along with Turkey Trot on Thanksgiving.  Nothing else is officially on the schedule, but I'll sign up for another half in a moments notice.  I would like to do the breast cancer marathon (26.2 with Donna) in FL in February 2014.  We'll see if I can convince my wife that it's a good idea to go to FL in Feb.

Anyways, I look forward to writing more.  I plan to still blog once a week during the slower time of the year.  You better believe that I will continue using run/walk/run and I'll see you out there!

#runhappy, #runforthosewhocant, #runwalkrun #hersheyhalfmarathon

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Pre-race thoughts 10/19/13 Hershey Half Marathon

It's race weekend!  I've already picked up my race bib.  My number is 4039.  I've put a lot of thought and effort into this race.  This race seems different than any others even though I ran the Hershey Half two years ago.  The reason this is different is because I'm using the Jeff Galloway Run/walk/run method of running.  So far this has helped me come back from some foot issues and has helped me get faster.

I know that the bottom line is that I am racing against myself and that when I cross the finish line at a time faster than 2:18:40 then I will have a PR.  I can't remember the exact point where I decided in my own mind that my goal was going to be 1:59:59 or faster, but over a month ago I shared that with the listening audience of the Galloway Extra Mile Podcast - Half Marathon edition.  I have been one of the Guinea pigs receiving e-coaching from Chris Twiggs.  This has been an awesome experience and I have learned so much through the process.

The part that excites me the most is that I'm physically healthy and I'm faster than I was before I started AND I use walk breaks.

I am slightly nervous about a few things and I figure if I post them that will help me process things.

1.  The narrow parts of the course - It looks like there are a few spots that will be fairly narrow.  I'm going to overcome this by sticking with the plan and not slowing down too much but not worrying if my pace slows a little bit due to being congested.

2.  Hills - not worried about this because "Hills are my friends."  I will be saying to myself "I love hills and I eat hills for breakfast."  Whatever I can do to stay positive :-)

Even though I did not specifically race money for TNT I'm still running for Luke and for Jeff.  I will be wearing my TNT jersey with my name on it.

My plan per Coach Chris Twiggs:  Start out with the 9 minute milers (I found the sign for that group).  I will check with those are around me to see if this goal is reasonable for them or if it is a "wish."  If it's a reasonable goal I will make sure I don't get ahead of them (or behind them).  Also recognize that I may fall back a little bit on the hills, but to not be concerned about that because I will catch up on the down hill.  Also from the coaching call I remember Chris stated that I am to run a 4:1 ratio which is a 9 minute mile.  I will run 4 minutes and walk a minute from the start of the race.  Once I get 10 miles in I can evaluate where I am time wise.  If I'm about 1:30 I can stay the course and continue using walk breaks.  If I'm a little bit slower and I still feel awesome then I can start to pick up the pace and modify the walk breaks.  Either way when I see the stadium I will pick up the pace and pass as many people as I can on the way into the finish line.  I am grateful that I've been able to train myself that no matter how I feel I still have a kick at the end.

I just watched the clip from Facing the Giants about the death crawl and giving it my very best.  That is what I'm going to do for this race.  Regardless of my time I am going to give it everything.  Also for my confidence booster I can remember that I did 12 repetitions of 800 meters (1/2 mile).  That's 6 miles by the way and that was done at sub 8 minute miles.

Again, I'm running happy and I'm going to do my VERY best.  I will post results on my blog.  Here's where you can go to get the official time Hershey Half Marathon results and other social media.  Also, my photos will be posted on http://www.hersheyeventphotos.com/hhm13.php

Please check out the podcast.  It's so cool to be a part of this!  http://gallowayextramile.blogspot.com/  or check out here https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/the-extra-mile-podcast-galloway/id424222024

Bottom line:  I will #runhappy.  I will run inspired and with a smile on my face.

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Week 14 Half marathon training

It's hard to believe that this time next week I'll be setting out all of my gear for the Hershey Half marathon.  It has been an awesome experience.  I find that this year is a lot different than last year since I have put some pressure on myself to perform at a certain level.  The crazy part is that my goal is to take almost 19 minutes off of my previous best time... using walk breaks.  My PR currently stands at 2:18:40.  My stated goal: get 1:59:59 or faster in the Hershey Half Marathon on October 20, 2013. 
 
Here's what I wrote Coach Chris,

It's hard to believe that I'm in taper mode already.  Here's my update from the week.  I have recovered well from my illness and I had a good run this morning.

Here's  my update from the week.

I skipped my Monday run all together since I was still sick and I had off work.  This is when I went to the doctor and he put me on some meds.  I took it easy Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday.  I decided that it was best to run Thursday because I was feeling much better.  This run was interesting because I was so excited about being able to run again ... since last Friday was my last run that I completely forgot my walk breaks until I was almost done with the run... oops!  Here's the proof.
http://connect.garmin.com/activity/389163326  The funny thing is that my pace is slower here than when I use walk breaks.  As I mentioned I tripped (on myself) and scrapped my knee.  It didn't seem bad at all at that point, but I did not want to take any chances so I walked the rest of the way home.
This morning I did my 5 mile run with a magic mile.  I slightly changed the location of the MM due to the rain we had yesterday and the wet leaves.  I ran 2.25 miles and then did my MM.  I wanted to try to make sure I was really close to my previous magic miles since that is a huge predictor for my pace in the race.  I wanted to prove to myself that I can get a 1:59:59 or faster for the Hershey Half.  This is the confidence booster that I needed :-).
I feel good about how things went and how I recovered from what's happened in the last week or so.  I'm ready to rock it out next Sunday.  I look forward to having our conversation for the podcast on Tuesday and finding out exactly what our game plan is for the race.

Thanks for calling me back on Monday and letting me know the importance of "staying the course" and not worrying about the last long run.

That's the end of my email to Coach Chris.

I don't know exactly what my "game plan" is for the race yet, but I'll find out either on Tuesday during our podcast call or in an email in the next few days.  My guess is that I'll start out the race using my training pace ratio 2:30/1 for the first portion of my race with a target pace of 10 minute miles.  Then I'll probably go to a 3/1 or 4/1 ratio to get it down to the 9 minute miles.  I'm not worried about it because I've done the training and I have the "hay" in the barn for this race.

I never did get my "do over" run for last week, but I'm OK with that and I'm ready to kick butt in Hershey.

Here's the video for the course.  It's a fun course and it is much better than it was two years ago (at least from what I can see and from what friends have told me).  Here's the link: http://youtu.be/8YNMPZQycVA or http://www.hersheyhalfmarathon.com/race_info/course_map.php

#runhappy
#willrun4chocolate

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Week 13: half marathon training

My thoughts for this week are summed up by saying "I want a do over!"

Here's what I wrote Coach Chris Twiggs about my week.

Chris,

This week was rough!  I did get my first run in on Tuesday evening and I was pleased with how it went.  I had an overall pace of 9:08 and even though it was hot 77 degrees, it felt very good.  Here's the details for this run: http://connect.garmin.com/activity/384392895
I just got up in time for work on Wednesday AM, so I didn't actually get in my second weekday run.  This is the first time I've completely missed a run in the past 14 weeks (typically I would have made it up on Thursday, but I had my long run scheduled for Friday).
As I mentioned in a text my long run did not go as planned.  I had been sneezing a lot in the past few days, but I didn't think much of it.  Since it was not in my chest, but in my head I decided to try my run anyway, even though I wasn't feeling the greatest.  Anyway, the first 5 miles didn't feel all that great and this was surprising to me.  I have been very fortunate in that I haven't had any really bad runs recently.

My sneezing did not cause too many issues and I did not need to use too many tissues.  It truly wasn't bothersome at work on Thursday.  During the run I didn't sneeze all that much, but I could tell that my breathing was off a little bit.
Here's the details from the run.  I do know that on a different day I would have crushed this workout.  My hope is that this will be the only bad run of this cycle and that I will do awesome at the race.
Instead of posting all of my splits you can go here to find it if you want it. http://connect.garmin.com/activity/386011550   My overall pace was 14.55 for 10 miles.  I'm trying to keep in mind that everyone has off days and that this does not mean that I still won't accomplish my goals at Hershey.

Any advice?  Suggestions?  I'm feeling like I need to do a "do over" for this run.  Thoughts?  So that's the end of what I wrote Chris.  I'm going to continue my conversation with you my reader.

Have you ever had just a horrible run?  I know that the definition of a bad run is one that didn't happen, but what about those that happened that did not go according to plan.  Am I just spoiled with having this as my first real disappointing run?  I was supposed to do 17 miles and I only ran/walked 5, walked 5 and didn't do the last 7.  Part of me is concerned that because of this run I won't accomplish my sub 2:00 half marathon goal.  My mind knows this is rediculous, but it's still messing with me.  This is the first time that I've waited 24 hours to post my stats.  I'm usually doing that before I even hit the ice bath.

Anyway, I'm hoping to get some response about this post.  If you've had issues with a longer long run how did you respond mentally, physically and emotionally?  I"m having issues with this mostly because it was the longest long run for this race.  I've done on the long runs up to this point.  I know I can still accomplish my goals, but I guess I'm frustrated.  Thoughts?  Thanks!